Summer camps evacuated after 50-acre fire erupts near Big Bear

Dozens evacuated from summer camps by Jenks Lake near Big Bear; several structures are threatened

Dozens of people at summer camps near Big Bear in the San Bernardino National Forest were evacuated Wednesday after a brush fire burned about 50 acres.

The fire, which was roughly 15% contained, began about 4 p.m. in the area around Jenks Lake, home to a cluster of summer camps operated by churches and the YMCA, according to U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Diane McGlothen.

The blaze was spreading east at a moderate speed, and officials said several structures were threatened. More than 100 personnel were deployed to battle the fire, including five air tankers and 11 fire engines.

Jenks Lake Road has been shut down, McGlothen said.

More than 175 people were bused to Citrus Valley High School in Redlands. Most of the evacuees were from Camp de Benneville Pines, which was hosting the theater-oriented Camp Bravo this week, according to the camp’s website. Other evacuees were bussed from Camp Ta Pochon, Camp Alpine Meadows, Camp Edward and Camp Tulakes.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. 

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

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